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Posted by Ian Fogg on April 8, 2010
Everyone agrees Apple is innovative. Even mobile industry insiders reluctantly admit Apple is now a leader in mobile. But one set of innovation isn't enough, especially in the competitive mobile market. Apple has to continue to improve, to continue to break new ground, and to expand its product line to catch new opportunities. That was the formula that enabled Apple to resist all-comers in the mp3 player market for many years after the iPod's 2001 launch. With the iPod, Apple kept improving both its hardware and software and shifted from offering a single model with a single form factor to selling four models: Shuffle, Mini/Nano, Classic and Touch and in so doing reaching a range of price points.
So, where should Apple focus with the next version of the iPhone software? I'm approaching this from two angles: what are the new opportunities that Apple should seize? What are the weaknesses of its current offering that need improving? Here's my take:
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please add them in the comments below and I'll include the best in a follow-up post (or I may update this post, depending on what's most appropriate).
One quick note of caution - It's far too easy when Apple makes announcements to become caught up in the moment and to mistake Apple's tactics for Apple strategy. Apple plays the long game and its announcements usually fit together into a grander plan. Read my report Competing with Apple, for analysis of Apple's approach to product strategy and to provide critical background and Apple-inspired product portfolio best practices.